Storytelling is older than the written word and resonates deeply with all of us. Over time, the way we tell and share stories has changed, but the desire to tell and hear stories has remained unchanged to this day.

The annual Glen Eira Storytelling Festival — Saturday 22 June–Sunday 7 July — celebrates the telling and sharing of stories through exhibitions, concerts, cabaret, theatre, comedy performances, historical tours, films, discussion panels, literary talks, open mic sessions, and collaborative art installation.

Theatre will lead this year’s festivalgoers in unforeseen directions. Celebrated local playwright Ron Elisha brings Unsolicited Male a searing expose of everyday life in the world of #metoo. Local singer/comedian Jude Perl’s cabaret I have a Face was the toast of Melbourne Fringe 2018. Never Too Old by Alan Hopgood is an audacious comedy which celebrates ‘oldies’ — never funnier than when they talk about sex! Kadimah’s Shmoozin’ in Carlton stars Evelyn Krape.

The powerful one-woman play Matriarch written by Sandy Greenwood and Oliver V Cowley, explores intergenerational trauma and family bonds through the compelling stories of four generations of First Nations women.

Celebrating Culture: Contemporary Indigenous Art features work by contemporary Indigenous artists Brook Andrew, Michael Cook, Hayley Miller-Baker, Kent Morris and Vincent Namatjira. Virtual Songlines Founder Brett Leavy will present new Indigenous digital stories and video games. He will be recreating authentic virtual environments and invites Festival visitors to interact through wireless VR handsets. This exhibition explores themes of identity, colonisation, personal history, community and the diversity and richness of a significant cultural heritage.

Talks by artists Hayley Miller-Baker, Kent Morris and Wayne Quilliam will be Festival highlights, along with Brett Leavy’s talk and Coding for Culture workshop for teenagers.

Showcased writers include Christos Tsiolkas, Clare Wright, Bram Presser, Jamie Marina Lau, Elliot Perlman and Christian White in a Festival that promises to once again bring captivating, provocative and meaningful stories to everyone in our rich, multifaceted community.

Venues from across Glen Eira include Festival first-timers the Caravan Music Club’s Winnebago Lounge in Bentleigh East and favourites Rippon Lea Estate Ballroom and Classic Cinemas both in Elsternwick.

There will also be literary workshops for adults and children, and music performances for children.

The full program will be released in May.

Glen Eira Storytelling Festival, Saturday 22 June–Sunday 7 July in and around the City of Glen Eira.